Potential socio-economic impacts of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Australia
Publication date: 11 Oct 2013
Australia is free of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), a highly contagious disease affecting cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, deer and camels. International experience shows an outbreak of FMD results in trade bans on livestock products to export destinations due to the risk of transmission of the disease to livestock. For large exporters, this results in product being diverted to the domestic markets, as the meat is safe for human consumption, reducing product prices.
This report shows an outbreak of FMD in Australia is expected to generate very large adverse economic impacts to both producers and other industries inside and beyond the outbreak area; with financial losses and eradication activities also having social impacts. The revenue losses to producers are larger than previously estimated by the Productivity Commission (2002). The higher figures in this study are a result of additional expected market access requirements from trading partners which in turn results in a longer expected time out of the market and a greater loss of market share.
Findings suggest that these economic and social impacts can be reduced by the choice of eradication strategy - with results indicating that vaccination could play a beneficial role where spread is rapid in high density production areas. Impacts can also be reduced by resuming market access quickly where feasible, improving response preparedness (though surveillance, eradication arrangements and livestock tracing) and the use of communication and support before and during an outbreak.
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16 Aug 2010